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Ryan Shazier: 'My dream is to come back and play'

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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier held his first news conference Wednesday morning since he suffered a spinal injury in Week 13 of the 2017 regular season.

Shazier, who underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Dec. 6, 2017, opened by offering gratitude to numerous people for their unwavering support and providing updates on his rehabilitation process.

While the Steelers already placed Shazier on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, a move that ends his 2018 season, the linebacker made it clear he remains hopeful to continue playing.

"My dream is to come back and play football again," Shazier told reporters. "I've been working my tail off every single day, so I have that in the back of my mind every single time I go to rehab. I just try to stay positive every day, so I'm just trying to do everything I can to get back."

Shazier pointed out there isn't a hard medical timetable on his recovery process and he is taking it "one day at a time," but he has received encouragement.

"They feel like I'm doing a lot better than they expected," he said.

Shazier continues to utilize a cane to get around, but he hopes to soon reach the next step of recovery where he won't need assistance.

"One of the things I'm looking forward to doing is I just want to be able to start walking a little bit more by myself without using a cane," he said. "And if that's camp, I'm happy for it. If it's the regular season, I'll be happy for it."

In the meantime, Shazier remains in Pittsburgh to recover and enjoys being around the team.

He also has another role as a welcomed source of inspiration and gateway to information for teammates.

"To me, I always felt like you always can make yourself better or the team better by giving everybody all that you have," Shazier said. "That's what I try to do for those guys. They ask me any questions, I'm open in helping them."

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